As Photokina gets closer, along with the inevitability of more product announcements, several events from Canon have kept the interest level up for those married to the EOS system including a new mirrorless offering and a major firmware update for its top 1.6 crop body. In addition, a close third party look at focusing system improvements sheds more light on recent advancements.
Among the major camera companies, Canon is the last to bring out a mirrorless body. Many wished for an m4/3 lens mount, but Canon decided it needed a larger sensor and a more direct and proprietary connection with its own EF and EF-S lenses. So now we have the EOS M, with a new EF-M lens mount and an EF/EF-S lens adapter. How one views any new camera body depends entirely on personal perspective and intended use. The EOS M has no optical or electronic viewfinder (either built-in or as a clip-on accessory), relying instead on the typical use of rear LCD for framing, nor does it have a built-in flash. While the sensor is a duplicate of the very capable relatively new Rebel T4i, the overall package seems a curious mix of features. However, along with the announcement comes the promise of a more fully featured model a little later.
As a bit of a surprise, the very popular EOS 7D has gotten a major firmware update, which adds significant features to an already highly capable camera (and perhaps spins its longevity out a bit). Some owners have experienced odd events after installation of the update, so make sure directions are followed precisely.
Anyone using or interested in the EOS-1D X or EOS 5D Mark III should read Roger Cicala’s investigation of the new autofocus systems in these bodies. Without a doubt our tools are getting more and more complex, and sometimes that complexity actually makes them more precise and useful in making good pictures. But it can also drive the need to upgrade all components of the system.
On the availability front, the new versions of EF 500 and 600 super-telephoto lenses are gradually making it to market for average people, though the stratospheric prices will stretch even well-heeled budgets. By all accounts they do offer spectacular results for those who can make the reach. Lots of the not-yet-formally-released Canon EF 200-400mm f/4 L IS USM Extender 1.4x lens were seen at the Olympics, and there is every expectation it will make its official debut at Photokina. Might be an entry-level full frame body too (though likely not until October), replacing the still-popular 5D Mark II. More rumors also of the long-awaited update for the EF 100-400. This is one that would appeal to a huge number of outdoor/nature shooters.
All things considered, the next few weeks will be full of news on new imaging tools.